U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has praised the arrest of
former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and says she hopes his
former military chief Ratko Mladic is captured next.
Speaking to reporters Thursday during a tour of Asia, Rice called the arrest a step forward for Serbia to establish its European identity. She urged Europe to speed up efforts to normalize relations with the nation.
On Wednesday, Karadzic's lawyer said he believes Karadzic will be cleared of genocide charges. The attorney says Karadzic will conduct his own defense at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in the Hague.
Serbian security officials arrested Karadzic Monday in Belgrade. He had lived openly in the Serbian capital, practicing alternative medicine under the name Dragan Dabic.
Genocide charges against Karadzic stem from the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys near the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.
He is also charged with the siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, during which snipers, shellfire, disease and starvation killed thousands.
With Karadzic's arrest, the Balkan war crimes tribunal's top fugitive targets now are Mladic and ex-Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic. Former Bosnian Serb police commander Stojan Zupljanin was arrested last month in Serbia.